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Antigone - Classic Tragedy

            The play of Antigone is a classic tragedy written by Sophocles, one of the three of the ancient Greek tragedies whose plays have survived. It was written in on before 441 BCE. The play starts when two brothers, Polyneices and Eteocles, who were both leading opposite sides in Thebes' civil war when they were both killed in battle. Creon, the new ruler of Thebes, declared that Eteocles will be honored and Polyneices will be disgraced and shunned. Creon declares that Polyneices' body is not to be buried or sanctified by ancient rites, he declares that his body be left out in the sun for the animals to eat away at. Antigone and Ismene are both sisters of the dead brothers and are deeply saddened about their brother's deaths. However, Antigone is the only one who is willing to do anything about it, Ismene is too afraid to help her because of Creon's strict laws against anyone doing anything with Eteocles' body. Creon has the support of the Chorus of Theban Elders, which gives him the ability to do basically whatever he wants with Eteocles' body. Antigone goes to Eteocles body and gives him the proper burial that she so strongly believes he deserves. Antigone is questioned by Creon and not only admits openly everything that she did but also argues with Creon about the morality of the edict and the morality of her actions. This only angers Creon even angrier and locks up Antigone, along with her sister Ismene because he assumes she had something to do with it even though Antigone pleaded she did not. Haemon, Creon's son and Antigone's fiancé, pledges allegiance to his father, but also tries to convince him to spare Antigone of her actions. The discussion turns into an argument and Haemon vows never to see his father again. Creon makes the decision to imprison Antigone in a cave and spare Ismene. Antigone accepts her fate and continues to defend her actions like she does throughout the play.

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